Title: A Waltz at MidnightReview:
Author: Crista McHugh
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Carina Press
# of pages: n/a - 19,000 words
New York, 1866
When her mistress receives an utterly unromantic letter from a potential suitor, servant Susanna Parkwell is asked to craft an appropriate response. Though hesitant to take part in the deception, Susanna agrees, never dreaming the scorned suitor will write back.
Theodore Blakely abhors being pressured by his family to marry, but he's intrigued by the witty refusal he receives from "Charlotte". After exchanging more letters, Ted believes he's found a soul mate in his thoughtful and understanding correspondent, and asks permission to formally court her.
Though racked with guilt over her lies, Susanna can't resist the opportunity to meet Ted in person. So she poses as Charlotte at a holiday ball, where she vows to tell him the truth. But when the clock strikes midnight, will Susanna have the courage to reveal her identity and risk losing the man she loves?
A Waltz at Midnight was a sweet, romantic little novella set after the Civil War. Our main female character, Susanna, had to move from the South to New York to survive. She works at her aunt's boarding house, which houses Vassar students, to earn a living and to save up for her brother's Bar exam. While working there she is persuaded by one of the residents, Charlotte, to reply to a letter from an unwanted suitor. This turns into so much more, as Susanna continues to exchange letters with the suitor, Theodore Blakely, also known as Teddy. They form a connection to each other through these letters, but that's not at all what Charlotte wants. So she makes Susanna pose as her at a masquerade ball to tell Teddy the truth and end it once and for all. But Susanna kept waiting for the right time, which never came. Instead, midnight comes around, the deadline Charlotte had given her. Susanna has to leave, and she tells Teddy to never call on her. Teddy doesn't listen, and ends up calling on Charlotte, which lead him to finding out the truth.
The characters were likable, with both Susanna and Teddy experiencing hardships in their past. Through their letters, they are able to express these hardships, which have never been told to another person. Though they were able to connect like this and their love story was sweet, it was almost too easy. There wasn't really any conflict, other than Susanna lying to Teddy about who she was in her letters. But then, that was resolved really easily too. I thought it could've been a bit longer. Teddy went to confront Susanna, and after an apology, he pretty much forgave her. Susanna kind of seemed more upset than him. I don't know...if I was lied to by the supposed love of my life, I'd be a lot more upset than Teddy seemed to be. But that's just me. And the fact that he's not so upset and everything seems to go easily for the characters, especially him looking past their differences (him from the North, her from the South, etc.), makes this a sweet, but unrealistic love story. Add in the the Cinderella tendencies of this story: stroke of midnight and leaving clothing behind, and it's definitely got a fairytale feel.
But I like fairytales and happy endings and unrealistic love stories, because it makes me happy and helps me get away from the real world for a bit. So overall, I did like the story. It was a sweet and easy read. I recommend it if you're looking to relax and get away from the real world for a little while.
Plot - ★★★★
Characters - ★★★
Ending - ★★★
Overall - ★★★